Thursday, January 11, 2007

Farragut Monument: OMOM Essay 19

"About the Sculpture" discusses why Farragut was a turning point in American sculpture: which details of pose, costume and pedestal made it drastically different from earlier works such as Brown's Lincoln (Essay 15). I vividly remember my delight at noticing how the lines of the pedestal and the uniform lead the viewer's gaze inexorably from the broad base to Farragut's head. (The photo shows the left side of the base, with the allegorical figure of Loyalty.) In a Saint Gaudens work, nothing is accidental.

In "About the Sculpture" I focused on the 1864 Battle of Mobile Bay, partly because it's where soon-to-be-Admiral Farragut bellowed "Full speed ahead, and damn the torpedoes!", and partly because the battle involved the use of ironclads by both Union and Confederacy. Surprisingly, Farragut preferred wooden ships to ironclads. After researching Ericsson (Essay 2 of Outdoor Monuments of Manhattan), I'd assumed that the advantages of ironclads were overwhelming and indisputable.

The Forgotten Delights calendar has a close-up of Farragut's head and torso plus several intransigent quotes.

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